Govt to consider release of 5 jailed ULFA leaders
This assurance was given by Home Minister Patil to the PCG nominated by the ULFA during the talks between the two sides.india Updated: Jun 22, 2006 17:13 IST
In a bid to usher in lasting peace in Assam, the Centre on Thursday decided to "favourably" consider the release of five jailed leaders of the banned ULFA in consultation with the state government.
This assurance was given by Home Minister Shivraj Patil to the People's Consultative Group (PCG) nominated by the ULFA during the third round of talks between the two sides here, official sources said.
Simultaneously, Patil asked the 11-member PCG to impress on the ULFA the need for a peaceful and conducive environment in Assam so that direct talks between the Centre and the militant group could be held at the earliest, they said.
The ULFA had last year demanded the release of its vice president Prodip Gogoi, Ramu Mech, Bhimkanta Buragohain, Pranati Deka and Mrinal Hazarika as a pre-condition for beginning direct talks with the government.
The group said these leaders should be freed, as they were members of its central executive council, which has to meet to take the peace process forward.
Besides Patil, Thursday's meeting with the PCG was attended by National Security Advisor MK Narayanan, Home Secretary VK Duggal and Intelligence Bureau Chief ESL Narasimhan.